2.1.2008

Edificio Acqua, Punta del Este

Edificio Acqua, a six-story luxury residential complex, will be Rafael Viñoly Architects’ first completed project in Rafael’s home country of Uruguay. Currently under construction in the upscale beachfront resort of Punta del Este, the building is scheduled for occupancy in the spring. When it opens, it will introduce an unprecedented level of construction quality and architectural refinement to the high end of the Uruguayan housing market.

The L-shaped, 34-unit structure faces the South Atlantic Ocean adjacent to the main oceanfront roadway with a terraced elevation that dramatically steps back floor by floor. Four single-floor «manor» and two «penthouse» apartments with total living areas ranging from 6,750 to 9,050 square feet feature abundant glazing on their three ocean-view sides, as well as private terraces and swimming pools. The building also contains five double-height lofts and 24 single-floor apartment units.

Living and dining areas typically face the ocean, while bedrooms, bathrooms, and other private spaces are situated along the glass exterior wall toward the rear and sides of the building with views of surrounding gardens and forests. Most bedrooms feature walk-in closets and in-suite bathrooms.

Passing through both wings of the building at ground level, a vehicular road provides access to ground-level parking bays in the base of the building adjacent to seven elevator cores. A fi tness center, spa, and outdoor pool are available to all residents.

Key features:

  • setbacks obscure views of other apartments to create a sense of separate residences
  • terraces and infi nity pools visually extend the ocean into the apartments
  • varied terraces and openings through the building help minimize overall mass
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«For me, Edificio Acqua has special meaning,» says Rafael Viñoly, «and its design refl ects the uniqueness and beauty of its fashionable surroundings. Spectacular views create a sense of openness and accessibility, and the innovative use of materials and space produces a timeless architectural message.» The building was the recipient of «The Most Attractive International Project» at the 2007 SIMA (Feria de Salon Internacional de Madrid) conference, and received the 2007 Real Estate Excellence Award from the Federación Internacional de Profesiones Inmobiliarias-Uruguay (FIABCI-Uruguay) in the category of Project Ideas in Process-Residential Area.

Project description

Edificio Acqua is a six-story luxury residential complex that faces the South Atlantic Ocean in Uruguay’s upscale beachfront resort of Punta del Este. Located adjacent to the main oceanfront roadway, this L-shaped, 34-unit building responds to an irregularly shaped site with dense, context-sensitive development, introducing an unprecedented level of construction quality and architectural refinement to the high end of the Uruguayan housing market.

The building features a terraced elevation that steps back floor by floor, resembling a large staircase leading residents directly to the water’s edge. These setbacks not only minimize the structure’s overall mass when viewed from the beach, but also enable the creation of four «manor» and two «penthouse» apartments: spacious, single-floor units that enjoy their own private terraces and swimming pools, with a total living area ranging from 6,750 to 9,050 square feet. With the combination of the infinity pools that seem to extend to the ocean, the abundant glazing on the three oceanview sides, and the building setbacks that obscure views of the other units, each manor seems like an isolated residence.

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The building contains a variety of other living configurations as well, including five double-height lofts and 24 single-floor apartment units. Living and dining areas typically face the ocean, and bedrooms, bathrooms, and other private spaces are situated along the glass exterior wall toward the rear and sides of the building, though many of these rooms enjoy ocean views as well. Nearly every bedroom features a walk-in closet and private bathroom. A series of terraces, alternately cantilevered out or set back into the building volume, animate the exterior and provide outdoor space for the apartments.

Passing through both wings of the building at ground level, a vehicular road provides access to ground-level parking bays, located in the base of the building adjacent to the seven elevator cores. A fitness center, spa, and outdoor pool are available to all residents. «For me, Edificio Acqua has a special meaning,» says Rafael Viñoly, «as it is the fi rst project I have completed in my native country of Uruguay. Its design reflects the uniqueness and beauty of its fashionable surroundings. Spectacular views create a sense of openness and accessibility, and the innovative use of materials and space produces a timeless architectural message.»

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